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Grand Designs

Where to Watch Grand Designs

Strathaven Revisited
Six years on, Kevin returns to Scotland to see Colin and Marta's incredible metal home, inspired by aircraft hangars, now that the construction is finally finished

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North Devon
Edward and Hazel plan a shining white art deco lighthouse on a rugged beautiful clifftop. But almost immediately their wildly optimistic plan runs into trouble.

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West Suffolk
After recovering from leukaemia, Toby is driven to build a complex home around an old oak tree. But can he balance high architecture and health with a comfy family place?

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Richard and Felicia almost singlehandedly turn an underground water reservoir in the Humber Estuary into a family home. It's an epic task.

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Design engineer Mark Butler is paralysed from the waist down and needs a cutting-edge, wheelchair-friendly family home. Making it for £600k proves a huge emotional strain.

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aul and Amy Wilkinson plan to build a lakeside home in Lincolnshire with five circular timber buildings linked by walkways. But Paul's health suffers as he struggles to finish in a year.

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Andy and Jeanette plan a precarious cliff-top build on the west coast of Scotland. There are battles with extreme weather, budget overruns, and a sudden emotional shock.

Watch Grand Designs Season 20 Episode 1 Now

Grand Designs is an intriguing and long-standing British television series that first aired on Channel 4 in 1999. Produced by Boundless, part of Fremantle Media, the show has garnered a loyal and passionate following over the decades. It's an architectural feast for the eyes, bringing architectural dreams to life, providing viewers with inspiration and a real-life glimpse into the trials and triumphs of designing and building your own home.

The cornerstone of Grand Designs is its host, Kevin McCloud, an architect and designer himself. Inviting, engaging, and well-informed, McCloud guides both the show's participants and the audience through complex and exhilarating processes of home-building projects. His charming and often humorous commentary, peppered with architectural insights and perspectives, captivate the audience, making the complex world of construction accessible and interesting.

Each Grand Designs episode spotlight focuses on different ambitious homeowners and their journey of creating and realizing an architectural vision. While some projects show the transformation of dilapidated and historic buildings into modern homes, others present new and innovative builds from scratch in rural landscapes or cityscapes. Regardless of the setting, the show introduces diverse architectural styles, from ultra-modern aesthetics to eco-friendly principles and sustainable building techniques, to revitalizing traditional design approaches for the 21st century.

Where Grand Designs truly excels is in the narrative arc of every project depicted. Be it a family attempting to create an eco-friendly house on a shoestring budget, or a couple pouring their life savings into a cliff-side home with panoramic sea views, each episode offers an intimate understanding of the unique challenges, pitfalls, and triumphs the homeowners face. The show keeps the viewers on a rollercoaster ride of emotions, from euphoric moments of architectural masterstroke realizations, to the nerve-racking times of cost overruns, planning issues, and construction delays.

A central theme of the show is the often stark contrast between vision and reality. Many episodes start with ambitious and often naive homeowners embarking on their quest to create their dream homes, only to face harsh realities of budget and timing issues, complex building regulations and unexpected construction problems. McCloud is there through it all, offering his insights and perceptive commentary, which often serves as a subtle reality check.

Grand Designs serves as both a showcase of individual determination and architectural creativity and innovation. It illustrates how architectural dreams can turn into reality with clever planning, unwavering determination, and a bit of compromise. It also offers viewers valuable lessons, not only about home design and construction but in managing ambitions and managing setbacks. These elements are fortified by the majestic beauty of the finished functional homes revealed at the end of each episode, providing the satisfying conclusion that makes every up and down in the journey worth it.

Listening to homeowners articulate their grand designs' vision is an experience unto itself. Yet, watching these grand dreams slowly take shape episode by episode, with McCloud serving as our guide, is truly inspiring and makes for excellent viewing. Over the years, the show has become more than just about buildings. It's about people, their dreams, their struggles, and their endurance.

Moreover, Grand Designs is not limited to showcasing grand homes in the UK alone. The success of the series has led to various international versions, including Australia and New Zealand, where each local iteration infuses a regional flavor and distinct architectural styles intrinsic to the area, further broadening the richness of the Grand Designs viewing experience.

Aside from the main series, there have been numerous specials including revisits to previous projects, compilation episodes revealing 'the best builds', and separate series like Grand Designs Trade Secrets and Grand Designs Live. All throughout, the emphasis remains on the captivating journey from ambitious design to finished functional home.

In the landscape of reality TV, Grand Designs offers an incredibly substantial and rewarding viewing experience. It gives viewers a front-row seat to the drama of home-building, and the fascinating insight into the processes, challenges, and sheer will involved in bringing architectural marvels to existence from mere ideas. It's a show that encompasses the depth of human ambition, the love for homes, the artistic flair of design, and the harsh reality of construction. All this makes Grand Designs more than just a show about architecture; it’s a show about the human spirit and the quest to achieve one's dream against all odds.

Grand Designs is a series categorized as a returning series. Spanning 20 seasons with a total of 351 episodes, the show debuted on 1999. The series has earned a mostly positive reviews from both critics and viewers. The IMDb score stands at 8.5.

How to Watch Grand Designs

How can I watch Grand Designs online? Grand Designs is available on Channel 4 with seasons and full episodes. You can also watch Grand Designs on demand at Amazon Prime, Apple TV Channels, Crackle online.

Channel 4
Kevin McCloud
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